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Vintage Halloween decorations make for an extra spooky feel

If you’re the type of person who starts decorating for Halloween in August, you’re in good company. While decorating for the spooky season is exciting, it can be difficult to constantly invent new and fun decorative schemes every year. As you continue to search for this year’s theme, consider taking a look at spooky vintage decorations for inspiration. There’s a reason scary movies often take place in old houses, highlighting antiques and strange, distorted sculptures.

This October, celebrate Halloween by paying homage to the past (and any ghosts that come with it). Take a look at some of our favorite vintage-inspired pieces that are sure to wow any trick or treaters.

Old-fashioned lighting

Lighting is the key to setting the tone of any space, so make sure you fill your home with some old-fashioned illumination. While exposed wires or bulbs can become a fire hazard, there are certain vintage designs that are both safe and stylish.


Lanterns cast eerie shadows and are reminiscent of horror movie heroines descending down the dark basement steps. They also provide a warm, gentle light regardless of whether you opt for battery-powered or candle-lit arrangements. While the candle-lit variety creates a more authentic and rustic vibe, battery-powered lanterns are much a safer option for those with children or pets running around.


The faint flames of candles create moody lighting, adorning the walls with dancing shadows. Stick candles (especially in ornate candleholders) add the perfect touch of creepiness. They’re also widely available at most craft and department stores for just a few dollars each. To upgrade the fear factor, consider purchasing bleeding candles, which create the illusion of blood dripping down the candle stalk as the flame burns.

black cauldron over a wood fire

A black cauldron

An authentic vintage black cauldron is certainly a showstopper. While larger pewter or iron ones can be pretty expensive, you can always purchase plastic or tin options for a more cost-effective solution. This piece will certainly be a staple of your design, but it can be functional as well. At your Halloween party, fill it with water to set up an apple bobbing contest or fill it with candy for visiting trick or treaters. Even authentic cauldrons are very durable, so you can fill them with liquid, candy, smoke, or other items without concern.

Paper mache sculptures

Vintage paper mache Halloween sculptures can be quite scary to look at, but isn’t that part of the fun for Halloween?

To make these sculptures yourself, you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Glue, liquid
  • Newspaper, cut into strips
  • A form (like a foam/plastic head or balloon)
  • Decorations (string, yarn, buttons, jewels, paint, etc.)

First, create the paste by mixing equal parts of water and glue to create a diluted glue solution that helps the newspaper adhere to the form.

Next, dip strips of newspaper into the paper mache paste and lay them all over the form. Allow the paper mache to dry completely, then gently and carefully remove the paper from the form. Last, decorate your sculpture however you like, using paint, string, jewels, buttons, to give a little personality to your figurine.

wrought iron fence in yard

Wrought iron fence

Have you ever wondered why old-fashioned wrought iron fences line the yards of haunted houses everywhere? Historically, these fences were only available to the ultra-wealthy, so they surrounded the perimeters of large mansions set on sprawling lands. Since these manors and their grounds have been well taken care of over the past few centuries, many of them are still standing, inspiring legends of ghosts and other hauntings. Now, no haunted house is complete without this iconic fence.

Nowadays, wrought iron isn’t too difficult to come by, so you can purchase a few feet of inexpensive fencing to decorate your yard. Many Halloween stores also have faux iron fences so you can grab a few and put them up in your yard next to the scarecrows, hay bales, Jack o’ lanterns, and any other spooky decor. You can also use the fencing to divide areas of your design to better draw attention to the spooky decorations that you want visitors to notice!

Nothing says spooky like vintage Halloween decorations, and these additions are perfect for creating an authentic and creepy feel. Whether you choose legitimate antiques or decorative alternatives, these old-fashioned features are perfect for any Halloween theme and are sure to make your place the talk of the neighborhood.

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